Vince McMahon RESIGNS from his role as TKO’s Executive Chairman… leaving WWE and UFC’s parent company in wake of sex trafficking lawsuit filed by a former employee
Vince McMahon has resigned from his position as Executive Chairman of TKO – the company formed by Endeavor following the $21 billion WWE and UFC merger in September.
It comes after former WWE employee Janel Grant accused the 78-year-old billionaire of sex trafficking this week, claiming he defecated on her head during a threesome, among other things.
A statement sent from McMahon to DailyMail.com read: ‘I stand by my previous statement that Ms. Grant’s lawsuit is full of lies, obscene fabricated cases that never happened, and a vindictive distortion of the truth.
‘I intend to vigorously defend myself against these baseless accusations, and look forward to clearing my name.
“However, out of respect for the WWE Universe, the extraordinary TKO business and its board members and shareholders, partners and voters, and all the employees and Superstars who have helped make WWE the world leader it is today, I have decided to resign from my executive chairmanship and the TKO board, effective immediately.’
Vince McMahon has resigned as Executive Chairman of TKO effective immediately
Janel Grant (pictured) is suing the 78-year-old, the WWE and another company executive
Grant, who previously agreed to a $3 million settlement in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement in 2022, filed a new lawsuit this week against McMahon, the WWE and a former executive.
In that filing, obtained by DailyMail.com, Grant claims that McMahon – who denies the allegations – stopped making payments after the initial $1 million installment, and she is now trying to void that agreement.
Furthermore, Grant claims she suffered bruising and bleeding after McMahon forcibly penetrated her with sex toys, which he named after his wrestlers.
She also claims that McMahon and another WWE executive locked her in a room at WWE’s Stamford, Connecticut headquarters in June 2021 and took turns sexually assaulting her during the workday.
“I wanted to inform you that Vince McMahon has submitted his resignation from his positions as TKO Executive Chairman and on the TKO Board of Directors,” WWE President and TKO Board Member Nick Khan said in an email to staff which was seen by Variety.
“He will no longer have a role with TKO Group Holdings or WWE.”
WWE previously described McMahon’s sexual relationship with Grant as “consensual” in a 2022 statement.
WWE executive and retired wrestler John Laurinaitis is also named as a defendant in the suit. Laurinaitis was fired from the WWE in 2022.
Grant began working with the WWE in 2019, joining the company at a difficult time in her life, according to the filing.
“The two met in March 2019, when Ms. Grant was deeply saddened and struggling financially – her parents passed away after she devoted years to around-the-clock care,” the filing states. ‘On top of that, she was unemployed and her family home was lost in her parents’ bankruptcy.
‘While McMahon made career-making and life-changing promises before Ms. Grant hung, he showed an increasing lack of boundaries.
‘During several meetings ostensibly about a potential job with WWE, he greeted her in his underwear, touched her, repeatedly asked for hugs and spent hours sharing intimate details about his personal life.
The WWE founder has denied the allegations brought in the suit, calling the allegations ‘obscene’
PICTURED: The headquarters of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in Stamford, Connecticut
‘Despite Ms. Grant’s expressions of unhappiness and attempts to end the sexual relationship – and while she realized that McMahon expected the physical relationship to continue as part of her employment – she had no idea how nasty it would get, nor how the psychological torture and physical violence would make her feel helpless, isolated and trapped.’
It was announced in April that WWE would be sold to the Endeavor Group and merged with UFC to form a brand new company – TKO.
Endeavor – which owns UFC – holds a 51 percent stake in the combined company, while WWE shareholders hold 49 percent.
It was revealed earlier on Friday that TKO may not have been able to completely fire the WWE’s founder due to a clause surrounding his appointment in their Certificate of Incorporation.
Section 7.2 of the charter reads: ‘Vincent K. McMahon shall serve as the Executive Chairman of the Board (the ‘Executive Chairman’) until the earlier of his death, resignation or incapacity.
Any vacancy of the Executive Chairman (which, if Mr. McMahon is the initial Executive Chairman, shall initially only occur upon the death, resignation or disability of Mr. McMahon) shall be filled by the Board by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Directors.’
This week the conglomerate’s board underwent a reshuffle with the appointment of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to its roster.
Fellow wrestler Paul Levesque (Triple H) was appointed as WWE’s Chief Content Officer, a role previously held by McMahon in 2022.
The scandal couldn’t have come at a worse time for WWE with the Royal Rumble, one of their flagship pay-per-view shows, set to take place in Florida on Saturday.